By Seth Littrell
Register News Writer
Richmond’s planning and zoning department Tuesday evening hosted a meeting for public input on a new road manual being developed by the city.
David Uckotter, of CDP Engineers, presented to an audience of six residents the functional classifications of streets within the city. He also gave a description of access management, or controlling the number of connectors between local streets and large arterial roads.
Uckotter has been hired by the city to help formulate a general road plan for the area that will give a depiction of how Richmond could look in the future. Once completed, city officials will be able to use the plan when considering new development.
Uckotter said access management has a number of benefits, the most notable being that it reduces the need for maintenance as well as the number of intersections and lights that need to be installed.
“It costs about $150,000 to install a traffic signal,” he said. “To simply put a traffic stop up doesn’t work anymore.”
When a large number of signaled intersections are installed in a small area, such as the Eastern Bypass, timing the lights correctly becomes an important issue that can lead to accidents, Uckotter said.
As an alternative, he suggested limiting the number of entrances onto large arterials like the Bypass by having service roads bring drivers to certain intersections, allowing intersections and lights to be spread out and making traffic flow easier.
A popular issue raised by residents at the meeting was the installation of bike paths and multi-purpose trails throughout the city. Planning and Zoning Director Jason Hart said most of the large roadways in the city were state roads. He said incorporating the demand for trails in the plan is a good way to let the state know there is a need for them locally so that when maintenance needs to be done the issue can be raised.
After the presentation, those in attendance were invited to view maps of the existing city streets with examples of proposed future streets. People were invited to take a pen and add to the map, showing where they would like connector routes to go.
This was the second meeting hosted by the city for public input. Uckotter said there will be more in the future while the general plan is still being drafted.
Seth Littrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6623.